Sunday, 19 May 2024
SportsFloods in southern Brazil already leave at least 136 dead and 141...

Floods in southern Brazil already leave at least 136 dead and 141 missing

MADRID, (EUROPA PRESS).- The storm that has been hitting the state of Rio Grande do Sul since Monday last week, the southernmost in Brazilian geography, has already left at least 136 dead, 746 injured and another 141. missing, according to the latest report from the authorities, updated as of this Saturday.

Civil Defense also reported that around 339,000 people have been forced to leave their homes, of which 71,000 remain in shelters and another 337,346 in the homes of friends or relatives.

There are already more than two million people affected by the magnitude of floods that had not been seen since 1941. Of the 497 municipalities that make up Río Grande do Sul, 445 have been affected in some way, including the capital Porto Alegre, where The water level has reached more than five meters.

Of the almost two million people affected, 338,000 have been students from 2,338 schools, of which 528 have reported material damage.

The security situation has also raised concerns among the authorities: the Porto Alegre mayor’s office this Friday began installing surveillance cameras in the city’s shelters after cases of rape were reported to the Rio Grande do Sul police. This week, six people were arrested on suspicion of sexual offences. Previously, the municipality also stated that it will create exclusive units for women and children.

For its part, the National Institute of Meteorology predicts that the region will once again be hit by heavy rains, with volumes exceeding 100 millimeters. According to the forecast, the winds will change direction and blow from the south, making it difficult for the waters to flow in some municipalities.

The condition is quite critical, not only because of the issue of the rivers,” warned meteorologist Cátia Valente, from the hydrological events prevention center of Río Grande do Sul, as reported by the newspaper ‘O Globo’.

On the other hand, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has reported that it has already contacted the various Brazilian authorities to collaborate with those affected and is distributing aid items, such as blankets and mattresses, and evaluating the needs of the population.

UNHCR has stated that in the coming days it will also be able to help all those who have lost their documentation, or it has been damaged, to guarantee that refugees and asylum seekers continue to access social benefits and public services.

According to official figures compiled by UNHCR, Río Grande del Sur is home to more than 21,000 Venezuelans who have been relocated since April 2018. Likewise, it has also highlighted that a high number of Haitian refugees reside in the region.

Finally, UNHCR estimates that $3.21 million is needed to meet the most urgent needs, including direct financial assistance to affected people and the provision of essential relief items.

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